Fighting the War through Transnational Maternal Solidarity: Examining the cultural objects of the 1958 Women’s Caravan of Peace collection

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

Abstract

Previous scholarly studies of the early Cold War period have been largely centred on the high-politics of his-story, predominantly from a Western perspective. Respectively, the understanding about women’s everyday realities and their cultural productions during the 1950s in the small countries wedged between the two superpowers, is fragmentary. This study investigates the little-known archival collection of Dora Russell’s Caravan of Peace (1958) (Feminist Archive South, Bristol), exploring how forgotten cultural objects illustrate Central-East European women’s everyday experiences, and their collective memories about the horrors of the war. By examining this unique portfolio of transnational material – that ranges from letters, photographs and film to highly skilled hand-painted greeting cards, posters and illustrations celebrating world peace and international friendship – this paper emphasises the thus far sidelined topic of transnational maternal solidarity that challenged hostile Cold War politics during the late 1950s. Through the visual analysis of the mostly anonymous and collectively created greeting cards and illustrations, this paper highlights the prominent appearance of Central-East European folk motifs and accentuates the significant status of local traditional applied art within the region.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2021
EventAssociation for Art History’s 2021 Annual Conference - , United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Apr 202117 Apr 2021

Conference

ConferenceAssociation for Art History’s 2021 Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period14/04/2117/04/21

Keywords

  • Craft and War
  • Cold War
  • Embroidery
  • Folk Art
  • Peace Activism

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